HAVU up 8-6
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“After such a bad year, I feel an incredible hunger to win and fight for every position on the HLTV rankings. I am able to devote every minute of my life to the best preparation for the next matches and tournaments, MICHU said in a Twitlonger.
“I love working for the good of the team and cooperate with people who also like me, put good preparation first and fight to the very end to achieve the desired success and fulfill all the goals and dreams I have set before. The title of ‘robot’ in my former team was not assigned to me by accident.”
The 24-year-old last made headlines when he and the rest of the former Envy lineup was placed on the transfer list in mid-January, as the American organization decided to put its CS:GO division on hold.
MICHU had been part of the team since early 2020, when Envy underwent an overhaul of their roster with four new signings — the Pole, Buğra “Calyx” Arkın, Kaleb “moose” Jayne, as well as a new coach, Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić, who joined long-standing member Noah “Nifty” Francis and Ryan “ryann” Welsh on the roster.
The team went on to make two more changes within the next five months amid middling results as they parted ways with moose and ryann and added Thomas “Thomas” Utting, while LEGIJA transitioned to a playing position. After that, the only tournament the new lineup attended was Flashpoint 2, where Envy placed seventh-eighth with just one win in five series.
MICHU was most recently seen playing with StylDunow in DreamHack Open January qualifiers alongside former Virtus.pro teammates Paweł “byali” Bieliński and Tomasz “phr” Wójcik, but since then the Polish side has used Miłosz “mhL” Knasiak instead in Snow Sweet Snow 2 Regionals.
The first round of the playoffs, featuring the runners-up and the third-placed finishers, will begin with a CIS derby between Natus Vincere and Gambit, two teams who last faced each other in the quarter-finals of IEM New York, four months ago. The winner of this clash will go on to face the red-hot Spirit, who still haven’t faced CIS opposition since they began their campaign in the tournament.
Later that day, Astralis and Virtus.pro will face off in a rematch of the StarLadder Major Final, when the CIS team still played under AVANGAR. The winner of that match will lock horns with Liquid, who haven’t faced Virtus.pro since last year’s IEM Katowice and Astralis since the IEM Global Challenge grand final.
Below you can find the complete schedule for the playoffs:
Friday, February 26
Saturday, February 27
Sunday, February 28
15:00 Grand final (BO5)
BLINK have officially added Flatron “juanflatroo” Halimi and Dionis “sinnopsyy” Budeci to their active lineup, the Albanian organisation announced on Wednesday. The experienced pair, who step into the shoes of Ernest “xhoci” Xhoci and Jon “b0r1” Nuredini, had been standing in for the team since the start of the current ESEA Advanced campaign.
Both players were part of the m1x lineup that was signed by Secret in November 2019. juanflatroo parted ways with the team in July 2020, while sinnopsyy stayed on until the organisation released the entire roster in November 2020.
“The main reason we decided to join an Albanian roster is the communication, which makes everything easier,” juanflatroo told HLTV.org. “There’s also the friendship aspect and the good energy that we share together since we have known each other for a long time.
“We believe that communication is key when it comes to competing at a high level, and we do believe that we have got the right experience to reach the highest peak with this lineup. Reaching the top 30 is the first goal that we have at the moment, and it’s just a matter of time.”
BLINK currently sit fourth in ESEA Advanced with a 6-1 record after victories over the likes of Sinners and Finest. Securing promotion to ESEA Premier to compete against better teams is the team’s priority, according to sinnopsyy.
“Our main focus is competing internationally,” the 25-year-old said. “We are eager and motivated to give our best as a team, and the support from the organization is key for us to achieve our goals. This is our time.”
BLINK have the following roster:
Klesti “stikle-“ Kola (coach)
Zvonimir “Professeur” Burazin contributed to this story.
Isurus have announced that they have completed their team with the double signing of free agents Nicolas “NikoM” Miozzi and Tomas “tom1jed” Rivero. The Argentinian pair will fill the vacant roster spots created by the departures of Jonathan “JonY BoY” Muñoz and Caike “caike” Costa.
This will be NikoM‘s second stint with Isurus after previously donning the organisation’s colours between June 2017 and May 2018. He was last seen playing for x6tence‘s Argentinian lineup, which disbanded in June 2020.
tom1jed is mostly known for his four-month stint with Furious, who finished second at the FlowFiReLEAGUE Regional Finals before losing to eventual champions BOOM in the first round of the circuit’s Global Final.
“Both players are very hardworking and studious, they fit into the team’s philosophy well,” Isurus manager Juan Manuel “mvk” Argogliosi told the organisation’s official website.
Meanwhile, Isurus have announced that they have promoted assistant Joaquin “lokomotioN” Abasolo to become the new head coach, replacing Rodrigo “pino” Manarino, who is transitioning to an analyst role within the organisation.
“Joa (lokomotioN) is going to lead the team during the first part of the year and Pino is going to focus his energies on the team’s game, setting up tactics and analyzing opponents,” mvk explained.
In the announcement video, Isurus restated that the team will be moving to Europe sometime in 2021. In late January, the Argentinian organisation announced that it had already secured visas for all of their players.
Isurus now have:
Joaquin “lokomotioN” Abasolo (head coach)
On Friday, the 29-year-old revealed in a post-match interview that he hadn’t made his mind up yet in regards to retirement, pushing back on statements made by Marcelo “coldzera” David in previous interviews that indicated the Swedish veteran would retire following his departure from FaZe.
olofmeister has been a part of FaZe since August 2017, helping the team to a runner-up finish to Cloud9 at the ELEAGUE Boston Major. The team also secured three title victories in 2017 at ESL One New York, ELEAGUE Premier, and ECS Season 4 Finals, won EPICENTER the subsequent year over Natus Vincere, and picked up a handful of tournament wins at various BLAST Pro Series events in 2019.
The two-time Major champion and best player of 2015 had a fitting end to his tenure on FaZe as he was the team’s second-highest rated player in the BLAST Premier Spring Group, averaging a 1.10 rating as the team qualified for the Spring Finals following two wins over Liquid.
FaZe, who will return to action on Thursday in the main stage of IEM Katowice, have been credited with an interest in Finn “karrigan” Andersen, who led the international team between October 2016 and December 2018. The Danish tactician was recently removed from mousesports’ lineup, with the organization acquiring Christopher “dexter” Nong from Renegades.
Renegades have announced the addition of Alistair “aliStair” Johnston, confirming a report from HTT News that indicated the AWPer was a prime target to fill the gap left vacant after Christopher “dexter” Nong made the move to mousesports on Wednesday.
aliStair joins Renegades after a three-year-long tenure as a part of ORDER, with his arrival on the roster seeing him reunite with Simon “Sico” Williams, Joshua “INS” Potter, and Jordan “Hatz” Bajic, who have all previously played under the ORDER banner.
aliStair has enjoyed modest individual success on ORDER, being the team’s highest-rated player in 2020 with a 1.22 rating. A number of runner-up finishes to Renegades in domestic events saw ORDER unable to post many event wins in 2020, with their only victories coming in Season 33 and 34 of ESEA MDL, where Renegades were absent.
Renegades are now: